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The social significance of Neolithic stone bead technologies at Çatalhöyük

Bains, RK; (2012) The social significance of Neolithic stone bead technologies at Çatalhöyük. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This project aims to better understand the social significance of stone bead production and use, from a technological perspective, at the large Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük, Turkey. This is done by closely examining technological practices and choices, reconstructing the manufacturing process, and analysing production contexts in order to determine the organization of production at Çatalhöyük, and the presence of craft specialization, all based on a large dataset providing both synchronic and diachronic perspectives of life at Çatalhöyük. Specifically, contexts with production evidence are identified and examined, manufacture marks on finished and unfinished beads are analysed, perforating tools are examined for use-wear, and some basic bead making experiments are also conducted. More importantly, the reasons behind the presence of craft specialization, and what factors may have propelled it, are also discussed. Technology is a fundamental aspect of daily life for Neolithic people, whether it is obtaining raw materials, manipulating them into finished products, using them, or exchanging them; technology is therefore a tangible form of constructing, maintaining, and propagating social ideologies. Stone bead technologies at Çatalhöyük provide important information regarding what regions the people of Çatalhöyük were interacting with, the skillsets they possessed, and why beads were made they way they were and what significance these beads had to both bead makers, bead consumers, and Neolithic society in general. Similarly, depositional practices and contextual analyses of contexts with evidence of bead use, such as burials and placed deposits, support the idea that stone beads were multipurpose, socially valued goods that became integral to daily, ritual, and social life at Neolithic Çatalhöyük, performing important functions such as the communication of ideas, the forging of relationships, marking important transitions in the lives of people and households, and creating, maintaining and propagating identities, both communal and personal. Stone beads conspicuously performed an integral social role at Çatalhöyük; the story of their manufacture and use is inextricably linked to all aspects of Neolithic life at Çatalhöyük, including identity, technology and symbolism and ritual.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The social significance of Neolithic stone bead technologies at Çatalhöyük
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from the e-thesis
Keywords: Neolithic, technology, stone beads, identity, bead production, bead use
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1368215
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